What's a Good Low-Recoil .357 Round?


July 29, 2007, 08:17 PM
I own a couple of S&W 357's, and admit to never having fired a .357 out of them. Figure I'd build up getting used to .38 specials (and +P's), but admit to wanting to try out some .357's at some point.

What's a good .357 round to try out that's easily obtainable at most stores and won't break the bank?

I'm thinking a heavier standard pressure round is what I want correct?

(Edited to add that this is for range shooting only).

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July 29, 2007, 08:26 PM
What are you shooting it from?

If you have an N-frame, almost anything is reasonably controllable.

If you have a 12 ounce Scanduim J-frame, there is no such thing as a "gentle" .357 round.

The .357 Magnum is not a "gentle" round. It was not designed to be. It is a powerful handgun round.

July 29, 2007, 08:33 PM
^ A good point - should of added that.

I have a 19-4 6" which is what I would plan to shoot them out of. I also have a 66-2 2.5" that I could use too once I am comfortable with them out of the larger gun.

July 29, 2007, 08:37 PM
I've heard different opinions on which .357 bullet has the lowest recoil. I like Black Hills 125gr out of my snub. I notice less recoil with that load than a standard 158gr load in the same gun. My gun weighs 28oz, so recoil may feel different out of a lighter gun.

If you want to try something other than the Black Hills, I bet any standard brand 125gr will shoot similarly.


July 29, 2007, 08:42 PM
speer GD 135 short bbl is not much more than +p 38,then remmie 125 golden saber its pretty mild.if you want practice ammo WWWB 110 JHPs don't have much recoil but bark a little(pretty big muzzle flash)

July 29, 2007, 08:43 PM
The Remington Golden Saber in 357 magnum has very soft recoil for a 357. It is not a full power 357 load; if I am not mistaken I have chrono'd them at around 1250 fps out of a 4 inch barrel.

They are much more pleasant to shoot than full 357s

July 29, 2007, 09:24 PM
In the 6" M-19 almost all common factory 357 rounds will be reasonably controllable. Not so much in the 2.5". I suggest just shooting the standard UMC and WWB in the 6 incher until your comfortable with it and then try it in your 2.5".

July 29, 2007, 10:25 PM
If you want .357mag, low recoil, no break the bank, ammunition that comes 50 per box ----> look for CCI Blazer aluminum case, 158gr jhp.

I use the stuff all the time, and recoil is on par with a hot +p .38 special.

Another inexpensive reliable buy is Aguila 158gr jhp. Those got a bit more kick though, but still 50 per box.

I did use Independence for awhile (Federal spin off brand), and it's good stuff, but stopped since they became far too proud of their product.

These are my favs for practice. All come in the original 158 weight which I prefer over the hotrod rounds.

Win, Fed, Rem, all good, but make a killing with the "fancy" rounds in boxes of 20 and 25.... :scrutiny: kooky talk. :neener:
Remington UMC (dirty stuff) and WWB are both more expensive than the ones I've listed above.

July 29, 2007, 11:29 PM
I've had good results with the Remington GS. easy to handle in GP100 and SP101.

Old 112
July 29, 2007, 11:29 PM
I reload 158 swc only, but I keep a few boxes of the Blazer aluminum ammo for carry purposes. It is a mild 357 mag., or like a warm +P+ 38 load. It works reliably for me, and accurate enough for my needs. I shoot enough of the Blazer to stay accustomed with it, but 98% of my shooting is with my reloads.
Old 112

July 30, 2007, 12:22 AM
What's a Good Low-Recoil .357 Round?

Most .38 Specials. (Stay away from +P's):neener:

Fast Frank
July 30, 2007, 12:34 AM
You can buy just any old .357 that's readily available and shoot it without worrying about it ripping your head off.

While it will be louder than the .38s, and offer a little more recoil, it's still quite manageable.

Don't be scared!

After firing a box or two of magnums it will seem "Normal" to you, and then you will be ready for a .44!

July 30, 2007, 01:00 AM
I'm sure you can handle it, but .357 out of a snubbie is never pleasant.

I don't think there is any such thing as a "low-recoil" .357 round.
.357 is SUPPOSED TO BE atomic.

As the others have said - Stick with .38 spl. if you want low-recoil.

July 30, 2007, 01:05 AM
I have a 19-4 6"

No worries there. If you have any control issues, just slip on the Hogue monogrips for shooting. That's more than enough revolver for most .357 loads, though the light and fast ones will give you a little kick. For practice I like the Fiocchi FMJ's. They're reasonable price, clean and don't overtax anything.

The Lone Haranguer
July 30, 2007, 01:05 AM
The Winchester 110-gr. "white box" JHP, the various 125-gr. medium velocity loads (not all of them are marked as such) and the Federal 130-gr. "Personal Defense" Hydra-Shok have all worked well for me. They turn that .357 fire-breather into a 9mm. ;)

July 30, 2007, 01:16 AM
Another way to tame the recoil of a .357 is to get one of the really recoil heavy guns (.454 Cas comes to mind). Shoot it for awhile and then the .357 will seem like a pipsqueak.:evil:

July 30, 2007, 11:21 AM
Try .357 Cowboy Action Ammo.

July 30, 2007, 11:38 AM
I'm not recoil intolerant, but I don't find any factory .357 objectionable in a K frame. Just me, I guess.

July 30, 2007, 12:07 PM
The problem with special low velocity 357 Magnum loads is that you pay a premium for them as they are usually specialized self defense rounds. I believe Cor-bon and Speer make low recoil 125gr rounds. I still say that you will be fine shooting normal loads in the 6" M-19.

July 30, 2007, 12:13 PM
As another poster mentioned, if you want real easy on the hands loads in .357Mag, try the "Cowboy Action" loads.

Due to the very soft lead bullet and bullet lube, the Cowboy loads do tend to be a bit 'smoky'.

I was looking over the specs on some "Cowboy Action" loads, and thery were very mild on both .38Spk & .357Mag. Less than 1,000FPS muzzle velocity.

July 30, 2007, 12:30 PM
158 Gr HP's are not at all unpleasant in my 4" M66. However, I find it's a lot cheaper to shoot "cat sneeze" reloads for general target practice and plinking.

July 30, 2007, 12:36 PM
The cowboy stuff is 38 special loads in a 357 casing (basically) That just means they cost more than the 38 specials.
If you want less perceived recoil, go with the lighter weight bullets (110, 125, etc...)
That S&W M19 should be pretty mild with most 357 loads anyway...

July 30, 2007, 12:50 PM
If you want less perceived recoil, go with the lighter weight bullets (110, 125, etc...)

Ummm, not really, at least not in my experience. Most 110gr loads are hot hot HOT! So are some of the UMC 125gr loads. American Eagle (Federal) 158gr flat nose is a relatively gentle "push" vs the typical "snap" of a .357 round.

But for the OP, seriously if you are going to fire .357 Magnum then do it and don't try to gentle it down to .38 Special territory. I think you'll be surprised at how nicely it actually handles.

Jim March
July 30, 2007, 01:48 PM
Speer's 135gr "357 short barrel specialty" load is VERY mild. Same projectile as used in their 38+P load and in "357" barely breaks 1,000fps in a snubbie.

BUT: that's not to say it's worthless. It remains the most accurate load I've shot in my 4.68" barrel New Vaquero, and from our longer barrels out past 4" velocity will still be respectable. I would submit it's still on the table as a defense option either in longer-tube or very VERY lightweight (12.5oz!) snubs.

In heavier guns I'd personally go for a bit more heat...Remmie's "Golden Saber" or one of the new Buffalo Bore "ligher load" 357s that just came out.

July 30, 2007, 02:34 PM
If you want less perceived recoil, go with the lighter weight bullets (110, 125, etc...)

Perceived recoil is highly subjective. I find the light weight loads to be harder recoiling.

July 30, 2007, 03:52 PM
.38 .Special :))

July 30, 2007, 03:55 PM
Try Remington's 125 gr. semi-jktd hollow point medium velocity (if they still make them). Stock number is R357M11.

July 30, 2007, 04:51 PM
I "THINK" that the lighter 357 loads probably create more muzzle flash (unburned powder) and noise due to a higher velocity.

Newton says the lighter loads will have less recoil...

From remington.com

110 gr vel=1295 fps
158gr vel=1235 fps (more weight same (practically) velocity = more recoil)

July 30, 2007, 05:12 PM
Perceived recoil is highly subjective.

Very true!
I find the "recoil" of a .380 in a small pocket pistol much more objectionable than that of a .44 Magnum in a M29.

P. Plainsman
July 30, 2007, 06:30 PM
I'm unimpressed with the Speer 135 gr "Short Barrel" .357. Recoil is surprisingly snappy for the limited ballistics delivered.

Accuracy has been decent but not great in the two Ruger DA revolvers I've used to try the round.

I do like the .38 Special +P version of the "Short Barrel" ammo.

P. Plainsman
July 30, 2007, 06:31 PM
Let me echo some of the others: The Remington Golden Saber 125 gr JHP in .357 Magnum is a nice "80%" round. In a 6" K-frame like yours it will be easy to control. You should get good accuracy, and decent numbers, too: maybe 1300 fps. Perfectly sound defense load.

My only beef with the 125 GS is that it's flashy. Wish Remington would start loading it with flash-suppressant powder like many other manufacturers do with their quality hollowpoint loads.

Still, it's a fine round.

July 30, 2007, 09:04 PM

Go here...www.midwayusa.com

Under the tab "ammo" go to handgun ammo and than .357. The website features the technical specs for each brand and variety. The major manufacturers also have websites for their ammo. Midway is just kinda convient as they list quite a bit of stuff.

IMHO try looking for a jacketed load at from 1000fps-1200fps with a 158 gr. pill. CCI Blazer makes such a load and it is reasonably priced. Look at the Speer Gold Dot as well.

It's my experience that the 158 gr. load at this velocity(around 1100fps a bit more or less) has less muzzle blast and felt recoil than the 125 gr. pills at higher velocities. They will do the job as well. Try a coupla boxes of this stuff in your guns and maybe use this as a baseline. Than try out whatever you want. I'd save the pricier Buffalo Bore and Cor-Bon, etc. for a later date.

.357 ammo runs a wide gamut from loads best for hunting, to loads best in an N frame, to lighter loads.

The idea that .357 Mag should hurt when you shoot it seems a mistake to me. I like to try to match the gun to the task, and the load in that gun once again to the task.

I think what you are looking to do makes sense. Trying out a milder load and working up from there.


July 30, 2007, 09:52 PM
Of course this begs the question, why did you buy a .357 magnum if you want low recoil?

July 30, 2007, 10:02 PM
Lots of great suggestions - will need to write some down for the next time I hit the store.

^gandog56 - I want to shoot the gun w/ .357 loads, but I don't want to scare the crap out of myself with some major load. I'll move to .38 +P's, but after that, I want to go to the next level.

July 30, 2007, 10:53 PM
Do a search and see if the Corbon 125 gr DPX might be what you need.

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